Announcement remarks: David Wilson on his historic $25 million donation to UNI
The following remarks were given by David Wilson during the announcement of his $25 million donation to the University of Northern Iowa. The event was held on the South Lawn of Curris Business Building on a beautiful Friday morning to kick-off the homecoming weekend, October 20, 2023.
"I have been interested in the value of a liberal arts, ethical-based business education since I myself was a student here at UNI. I believe my business success is a result of the philosophical education I received here. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
In 1999, my wife Holly and I donated $1 million to the university to establish a chair in business ethics. Dr. Rusty Guay holds that position today.
After that gift, I was visited annually by presidents Bob Koob, Ben Allen, Bill Ruud, and most recently by current president Mark Nook to solicit an even more substantial donation. We have chosen this time to make that additional investment in an ethics-based business curriculum at UNI because government and the media continue to blame business for the world’s economic problems. Ethical capitalism needs all the help it can get.
I believe this is the perfect time for this gift to help present a philosophical defense of capitalism. It is our hope that this contribution will foster instruction that reveals the importance of maintaining ethical principles in the corporate environment at all levels of business – from daily operations to executive decisions - and will also promote the tactful and tactical rational thinking required to defend successful companies from ideological attacks.
In our judgment, our nation’s political and economic future is in peril. An ethical defense of free markets is crucial to reversing the current anti-capitalist trend - before it is too late.
My wife Holly and I hope that this contribution will encourage other alumnae and friends of the University to step up as they are able and contribute to support an ethics-based education here at the David W. Wilson College of Business. Thank you."